Ulysses L. Bridgeman, Jr.
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Ulysses (Junior) Bridgeman received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Louisville in 1975. He was a guard for the Cardinal Basketball team and was an All-American in 1974-75.
After graduation, Mr. Bridgeman played professional basketball for more than a decade in the NBA. From 1975 to 1983 and from 1986 to 1987 he played with the Milwaukee Bucks. During the interim from 1983 to 1986, he played for the Los Angeles Clippers. During his 11 years with the NBA Players Association, he served as a Player Representative acting as a liaison between players and management, was directly involved in arbitration proceedings and assisted with implementation of special programs, such as Career Alternatives, Fitness and Wellness, and Financial Planning. He served as Treasurer for the NBA Players Association for 3 years and President for 4 years.
Mr. Bridgeman is the Owner and President of Manna, Inc. and ERJ Inc. which currently oversees the administration and operation of 163 Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburger Restaurants in five states and 24 Chili’s Restaurants in four states. The restaurants employ approximately 7,500 people. His company has received numerous awards from Wendy’s International including the Hall of Fame Award for overall achievement, which the company received in 1999.
Currently Mr. Bridgeman serves on the Board of Directors of Fifth Third Bank, the Library, West End School, Jackson Hewitt Board, Governors Rider Cup, Governors Scholar Program, Louisville Community Initiative, National Basketball Retired Players Association, Crusade for Children Foundation, and Wendy’s National Advertising Board. He has served as Capital Campaign Co-Chair for the African American Heritage Foundation. Mr. Bridgeman is a member of the UofL Board of Trustees, having served as its chairman from 2003 to 2005.
Mr. Bridgeman has received many awards including the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame, Volunteers of America’s Tribute Award for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, John Thompson Foundation’s Outstanding Achievement Award, Jim Near Legacy Award, and Coach Wooden Key to Life Award.